Despite drafting a pass rusher with their first round pick this year, could this free agent acquisition in fact be the war daddy the Dallas Cowboys so desperately need?
Every offseason there are one or two names that emerge during the Dallas Cowboys organized team activities and/or minicamp that are touted as having the potential to become a major contributor during the regular season. Names that generally fly under the radar for most fans.
Last year those players were Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving and Ryan Russell. Irving went on to live up to that early hype, mostly based on a Week Six performance against the Green Bay Packers. In that contest, the undrafted 6-foot-7, 285 pound defensive end out of Iowa State recorded four total tackles, a sack and three forced fumbles on just 19 defensive snaps.
Russell was the Cowboys fifth round pick out of Purdue in 2015. The young defender started showing signs at this same time last year following a disappointing rookie season shorten by injury. Some even believed Russell could have become the Cowboys starting left defensive end when the regular season started last year.
But a disappointing training camp led to the Cowboys releasing Russell prior to the start of the regular season in 2016. He was quickly signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad last September. Two months later, Russell was promoted to the Buc’s active roster, recording eight total tackles and one sack in eight game appearances as a reserve.
Now, according to a Cowboys insider, another defensive lineman is making waves early this offseason in Dallas.
"“Damontre Moore continues to get work both on the left and right side at defensive end with favorable results,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus on DallasCowboys.com recently. “I like from what I’ve seen so far from Moore and he works extremely hard not to stay blocked. One of his better pass rushes of the day came against Tyron Smith on an inside swim move that left him lunging and off balance.”"
Moore was a third round selection out of Texas A&M back in 2013. The 24-year old spent the majority of his first three seasons in the league with the New York Giants. Before signing a two-year, $1.6 million deal to join the Cowboys in March, Moore played stints with both the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins as well.
In his four-year career, Moore has recorded a total of 77 tackles and 10.0 sacks. During his final season as an Aggie, he posted 85 tackles, 21.0 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks.
Talent has never been the issue with Damontre Moore. It’s been immaturity and off-the-field issues that have plagued him. With the Cowboys likely representing his final chance to resurrect a NFL career, Moore should be on his best behavior. But only time will tell if the former Texas A&M star will become the next David Irving or the next Ryan Russell in Dallas.